New online support charity for children caught up in separation
Kidsinthemiddle.org.uk, is a new online support charity for children and young people whose parents are separating
. It allows youngsters to share their experiences with others who have similarly lived through the trials and frequent heartaches of family separation
The service will also help parents who are separating
gain a better overall grasp of what their children are likely to be going through.
It aims to encourage children and parents alike to appreciate how a child reacts to a difficult and highly sensitive situation
. Besides benefiting the kids and adults directly affected, the tool will help all who liaise and work in this difficult arena.
Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) CEO Anthony Douglas CBE applauded the new site, calling kidsinthemiddle "an inspired campaign to give children and young people an opportunity to communicate what they are going through
Supporting children online
Among the goals of kidsinthemiddle.org.uk will be to reassure youngsters that they are not responsible for their parents' separation
, they are not alone and that they should be neither afraid nor embarrassed to speak out and seek help.
Information and resources will be distinctly youth-oriented, much of it in the form of stories, videos and celebrity interviews. It will also be available as a mobile interface
, appearing as an app and via a confidential Facebook portal. The service will link to Childline, offering telephone help and live online chat
with professional counsellors during certain hours.
The initiative has been warmly welcomed by Resolution, the 6,500-member group of independent family lawyers
and other professionals dedicated to finding constructive solutions to family disputes.
"Projects like these are absolutely crucial to helping children deal with the emotional fallout
of separation," a Resolution spokesman said. "Our members help separating parents focus on the needs of their children, because they know how important it is for young people to be supported
during a time of significant emotional trauma."
"Campaigns like Kids in the Middle
help highlight these issues and provide a vital resource to help reduce the pain of separation, particularly for children."
Raising funds and supporting the project
Fundraising for the project is gathering momentum. A group of teenagers has appealed to families, communities and interested professionals as part of what the charity is pitching as a crowdfunding campaign
– the UK's first in pursuit of a children's service.
Once the youngsters have raised start-up funding and the project is fully underway, organisers hope to start approaching foundations and major donors
to match the funds raised earlier.
The organisers of kidsinthemiddle are also grateful for the help of 3 well-known 'agony aunts' – The Sun's Deidre Sanders, Denise Robertson of ITV's This Morning and The Mail on Sunday's Zelda West-Meads – who have offered their services
and considerable media influence as trustees.
Many other legal experts and mediators have also been delighted to give the scheme their blessing
. Emma Hopkins, an Associate Solicitor in the Family Law team at Simpson Millar LLP, said: "This is a fantastic idea for a service that I am sure professionals working within the family justice system, parents and children will see as a valuable resource in the future
For more information on how to get involved in fundraising
for this exciting and hugely worthwhile initiative, please go to http://www.kidsinthemiddle.org.uk